What is the average number of goals per World Cup game?

During each FIFA World Cup or European Football Championship, you can join football betting everywhere. A common bet is how many goals you think will be made in all individual matches during the World Cup. If you want to make a good estimate, it's important that you know how many goals are scored on average per game in previous World Cups, how many countries compete and how many games are played in total. Nowadays, many more matches are played than for example 50 years ago. Since the first World Cup of 1930, the average number of goals per World Cup game is 2.8. The earlier World Cups have a much higher goal average than the World Cups nowadays. So, if you want to forecast the number of goals of future World Cups, it’s wise to look at the average goals per match of the last World Cups, and not of all World Cups.

Expected number of goals World Cup football

As mentioned above, the expected number of goals during a World Cup depends mainly on the number of countries that compete in the World Cup. The more participants, the more games need to be played. In 1994 for example, there were 8 participants less than in 2014. As a result, the 2014 World Cup had 30 more goals than the 1994 World Cup did. Below you can see an overview of the total amount of goals scored during the last World Cups, with the corresponding number of countries that participated and the average number of goals per match.

2014: 171 goals (32 countries) – 2.7

2010: 145 goals (32 countries) – 2.3

2006: 147 goals (32 countries) – 2.3

2002: 161 (32 countries) – 2.5

1998: 171 (32 countries) – 2.7

1994: 141 (24 countries) - 2.7

If we look at the last 6 World Cups, we can see that the average number of goals is 2.5, with a range between 2.3 and 2.7 per match. Till 2026 the World Cup will have 32 participants, which means 64 matches played during one tournament. If we take a look at the average goals per match of the last 6 World Cups, we can expect a total number of goals during the next World Cup of about 160 (64*2.5).

What is the most common result during a World Cup match?

If you want to predict the result of an individual World Cup match, it could be wise to take the result that is most common in the World Cup history. If we look at all results in World Cup history, we can see that most matches result in 1 - 0 (not looking at home or away team). In total, 128 World Cup games resulted in 1 - 0 (or 0 - 1). Another common result is 2 - 1 (or 1 - 2), This occurred 101 times. And the result 3 - 1 ( or 1 - 3) has occurred 80 times. These are the 3 most common results during World Cup matches.

Most goals scored during a World Cup match

The average number of goals per World Cup match is 2.8, but there have been a lot of matches with many more goals. The biggest win in a World Cup match is for Hungary. They defeated El Salvador with 10 - 1 during the 1982 World Cup. But this was not the match with the most goals during a World Cup match. At the 1954 World Cup 12 goals were scored during the Austria vs. Switzerland match. Austria won the match with 7 - 5.

Number of goals World Cup top scorers

During each World Cup there is a battle between the strikers of the various countries for the World Cup top scorer title. The top scorer of the World Cup is mostly playing for a team that reaches the final or semi-finals. The number of goals scored by the top scorer of a World Cup has always been between 4 and 13 goals. The record holder is Just Fontaine (France, 1958) with 13 goals. The average number of goals scored by the World Cup top scorer is 7.

What is the average number of goals scored during an European Championship?

If we look at the average number of goals per match in European Championships, we see that the average is 2.4. So this average is 0.4 goals lower than the World Cup goal average.  

See besides Average goals per game World Cup also:
Average Number of Goals European Championship
Average Number of Yellow Cards
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